Corporate | 05 April 2017

Renault and RCI Bank and Services, partners of Techstars Paris, a new American startup accelerator

On March 20, Groupe Renault and RCI Bank and Services became partners of Techstars, the globally known American startup accelerator that recently opened a branch in Paris. This open innovation initiative is continuing Groupe Renault’s culture of partnerships and a key component of an innovation ecosystem. Discover Nadine Alibert-Frégeac's expert opinion on open innovation.
by Groupe Renault
Update 2017/09/21

The 10 startups selected for for the inaugural Techstars Paris class are:

  • Besafe, security traveling with your data everywhere (Armenia)
  • EyeLights, HUD GPS for Motorcycles (France)
  • Hydrologistics, Africa, see every drop (Kenya)
  • Lovys, a simple monthly subscription for all your insurance needs (Portugal)
  • Miuros, better Customer Service at Scale, through A.I. (France)
  • POMP, fuel delivery on demand (France)
  • SnapSwap International S.A., automated (24/7/365), compliant, online and mobile onboarding solution (Luxembourg)
  • TerraManta, raw goods financial markets intelligence (USA)
  • Wakeo, SAAS platform for real-time visibility on shipping flows (road, sea, air) (France)
  • Zify, instant & dynamic carpooling app for short & medium distance commute (India)

After creating 27 startup accelerators in the United States and Africa, Techstars has opened a branch in Paris at Partech Shaker, an incubator founded in 2014 by the investment fund Partech Ventures. Techstars is partnering in this initiative with Air Liquide, Groupama, Française Des Jeux, Total, and Groupe Renault.

Renault, RCI Bank and Services, and Techstars: a joint, open innovation initiative

Innovation is a strategic priority for Renault and RCI Bank and Services. In order to stay at the leading edge and continuously innovate, we develop partnerships and expand the innovation ecosystem. Partnering with Techstars Paris offers us the opportunity to work with a team recognized for its success in identifying and supporting startups.

The objective is to meet exceptional entrepreneurs and to discover and support the development of ideas with strong potential. It will enable us to anticipate growth opportunities, for the future of mobility so we can offer our customers the best service possible.

This partnership with Techstars Paris contribute to the overall open innovation process of Renault and RCI Bank and Services. It will also challenge us to try out and adopt new, more agile and innovative working methods.

An ambitious accelerator program to identify startups that can help us meet mobility challenges

The application period for startups opened on March 20, 2017 and will close on June 19. Techstars will then select the participants in late July, and the 13-week program will begin on September 11, led by members of the Techstars team and prominent mentors like William Shu, founder of Deliveroo and Mike Hudack, director of product management at Facebook. The selected startups will work closely with partners on the key issues they have expressed so as to test and then implement the proposed innovative solutions. Renault and RCI Bank and Services have chosen to prioritize subjects related to new mobility solutions, autonomous vehicles, and connected services.

For Renault, innovation is a key strategic driver. Our participation in the Techstars Paris program is an opportunity to pursue and expand our culture of partnership. We want not only to discover and support entrepreneurs and ideas with strong potential, but also to foresee more clearly the opportunities for growth offered by new mobilities, connected services, and autonomous vehicles,” says Nadine Alibert-Frégeac, Business Development - Venture Corporate Manager, Groupe Renault.


Partnering with Techstars Paris is a valuable way to develop new synergies and, why not, new business relations with entrepreneurs who can help us develop new products and services that will satisfy our customers’ new needs,” says Jean-Christophe Labarre, head of Innovation & Partnerships.

*Open innovation: innovation process in which the company is no longer “closed” on itself but instead open on a variety of other external actors (partners, start-ups, universities …) or internal ones

About Techstars:

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of startup programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from early stage grassroots community development to more formal opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding, and beyond.

Partech Ventures:

Founded in 1982 in Silicon Valley, Partech Ventures is a global investment firm specializing in digital and new technologies. Most Partners have been entrepreneurs themselves or have held management positions within tech companies. The San Francisco, Paris and Berlin offices work together to support entrepreneurs in their international growth at all stages of their development: seed (Partech Entrepreneur), venture (Partech International Venture) and/or growth (Partech Growth). Companies backed by Partech Ventures have completed 21 initial public offerings and more than 50 major M&A transactions exceeding 100 million dollars with leading international companies. Since 2012, the team has built a pioneering business development platform fostering synergies and business relationships between entrepreneurs and corporate partners. The Preqin index ranked Partech Ventures among the top ten most consistent performers in venture capital. Partech is the only European firm in the top twenty-five of this

Partech Shaker:

The Partech Shaker was launched in 2014 by international investment fund Partech Ventures in order to support the development of the French tech ecosystem. The Partech Shaker is both a workspace and a space for exchanges between professionals regarding digital transformation and growth through collaboration. Located at 33 Rue du Mail in Paris, the campus hosts startups that have already passed the seed phase and are business-ready. It houses major American brands like Dropbox and Pinterest that chose it as a base for developing their business in Europe, European startups like Influans, Kantox, and WINGiT, and representatives of established corporate partners such as BNP Paribas, Dentsu Aegis Network, Econocom and Haworth. Since 2016, its Europe Made Easy program has been supporting foreign tech companies in their expansion onto the French or European market from Paris. In 2017, the Partech Shaker will host the first Techstars program in France.

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